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第十六章:寂静的一年 (1988) (The “Silent” Years)

发表于 2013-3-2 23:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Chapter Sixteen: The “Silent” Years (1988)

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Sydney Football Stadium

  Graham and Russell traveled to Australia in January of 1988 to take part in one of the country’s biggest celebrations, the Bicentennial, which marked 200 years of permanent settlement. The day before the christening of the new $62 million Sydney Football Stadium was to be held, Air Supply was asked to perform at it. Veteran rocker Joe Cocker was originally slated to play, but canceled at the last minute. Air Supply gladly joined an all-star cast of performers that included John Denver, Dragon, Eurogliders, and Sharon O’Neil. The concert was met with mixed reviews, as the crowd of 17,000 complained that the acoustics in the roller-coaster shaped stadium were poor. The general manager of the event stressed that the stadium was intended for football crowds, which made the grand opening something of an experiment, studded as it was with music stars.

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Princess Diana, Russell, Graham

      Several other Bicentennial celebrations were organized throughout the country including the World Expo 88 in Brisbane. On January 25, the Royal Bicentennial Concert was held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and included many high profile guests, such as Princess Diana and Prince Charles. The event was broadcast on television and featured many musical guests. Representing Australia was Olivia Newton-John, Icehouse, Debbie Byrne and Air Supply. After performing a medley of their biggest hits, Graham and Russell spoke with Princess Diana and Prince Charles. “She told us in the line that she was a big fan of ours which is a big compliment. We were thrilled by that,” said Graham. Years later, Russell and Graham said that meeting Diana was one of the highlights of their career.

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'Someone Who Believes In You' (Front/Back)

      In early January, a third single, ‘Someone Who Believes In You,’ was released from Russell’s forthcoming solo album. Arista hoped the song would gain momentum after it was featured in the film Date With An Angel. The movie was a box office flop, and Russell’s single did not chart. The 7” single included a picture sleeve with ‘I Come Alive’ on the B-side.

      CBS Records and Disctronics Ltd. released an Australian collection titled ‘Four Play’ in 1988. ‘Four Play’ was a series of albums that highlighted different artists, and included four of their most popular songs. Air Supply was the feature artist on Volume Thirteen. The album was released on vinyl and Compact Disc, and contained the songs ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ ‘Empty Pages,’ ‘Do What You Do’ and ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started.’


      The relationship between Air Supply and Arista had run its course by 1988, and both sides agreed that it was time to separate. Clive Davis knew that Air Supply’s sound had peaked on radio, and that their new material would no longer get played. The holiday album was designed to sustain the band a bit longer and sell more records. The idea to release a concept album was something that Davis had done with other floundering Arista artists, and more often than not, it produced a successful album.  

      “It was obvious that, at least as measured by sales and radio play, Air Supply’s time in the sun was waning,” said Clive Davis in his 2013 book The Soundtrack Of My Life. “Tastes change so quickly, and as the Eighties moved along, even adult-contemporary radio wanted to shake things up. Without the strong radio hits that drive album sales, adult contemporary artists are essentially a niche taste. That said, it’s not an insignificant audience at all, and it’s loyal. I do believe that the songs of Air Supply are remembered, maybe as emblematic of a specific time, maybe as a guilty pleasure. They didn’t simply have turntable hits: They had a distinctive sound and they were embraced by fans who genuinely cared about them. Russell Hitchcock’s tenor voice came through on those records, and combined with the quality of the songs, the group moved people.”

      “We had artistic differences with Clive,” said Russell. “We wanted to do other things, but he wanted to keep us in the genre we were in. I think the biggest thing was that we wanted self control. We were obligated contractually to record three songs of his choice for every record whether we liked them or not. We were obviously much older than when we first started, and more experienced. We just wanted to do things our way. We wanted to find a company that agreed with us. Plus we wanted to take some time off from recording and enjoy our lives a bit more. One of the reasons why I made my solo record was to make some time for ourselves out of the studio. Graham was working on his opera that he has been working on for some time. I got a chance to go into the studio and do a record on my own. It was time for both of us to stay out of the studio, and we had the luxury of not having that pressure of recording an Air Supply album. We are taking this chance to do independent things, but we will still tour together. I’m very happy with my role as a vocalist in Air Supply. In the meantime, we also got married and wanted to create a balance in our lives. We wanted to create home life and be like normal human beings. ”

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CBS & Disctronics                  Rainbow Music

      Demand for Compact Discs was growing in 1988 and many record companies were re-issuing older albums on the new format. CBS Records and Disctronics released an Australian CD called ‘Love and Other Bruises.’ The CD was part of ‘The Best For Less’ series, and was a re-issue of the Australian ‘Love and Other Bruises’ LP and cassette from 1981. It contained tracks from Air Supply’s first two albums with CBS Australia.

      Australian record company Rainbow Music Group and CBS also re-issued the 1981 album on CD, but kept the original artwork. It was a budget conscious release, priced lower than most CDs at the time. The Australian release of ‘Love and Other Bruises’ is often mistaken for the 1977 North American album from Columbia Records, as they share the same title. Both versions of the Australian CD are sought after by collectors because they had limited production runs. Plus, they contain songs from the 1976 and 1977 CBS albums, that are rarely included on CD.

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                                                  Longbox Case

      Arista released the long-anticipated Russell Hitchcock album on April 21, 1988. The self titled album featured 10 songs (not 11 as first planned), three of which are covers from the mid-1960s. The songs were penned by several well known writers from the American album-oriented rock scene, including Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Clive Davis and his team at Arista were instrumental in helping find the best possible songs for Russell to record.

      “Despite the singer-songwriter trend,” said Davis, “I believed that there was still a sizable audience for pop singers who did not write their own material, and the key to their success would be finding the right songs for them to record. Many A&R executives believe that identifying talent is the essence of their job. That’s obviously critically important, but it’s not the whole story. If the artist isn’t a songwriter, finding first-rate material for them is essential. People often say that a great singer can sing the phone book and people would buy it. To me, that’s completely wrong. The better the singer, the more critical it is that the songs are challenging enough to showcase his or her talents at their absolute best. My A&R man, Rick Chertoff, was a great help to me in this regard at Arista.”

      “I’ve waited a long time to make this record,” said Russell, “both because I’ve been so busy with Air Supply that there just wasn’t a chance to do it, and because it takes a long time to put together a good album. All the pieces came together to make this the right time to take a break from Air Supply, as well as to work with the right people. I wish I could have done it sooner, but I also feel that if I hadn’t waited, I wouldn’t have come up with an album that I’m as proud of as I am of this one.”

      Air Supply fans were thrilled with the new album, but music critics were less enthused:
      The lead squeaker from Air Supply manages to weenify everything he touches here, including some venerable classics that don’t deserve it. Not that ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ and ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’ are great tunes, but they deserve better than this milquetoast interpretation. Hitchcock would do better to stick to unfamiliar material so that his gratingly sweet, squeaky-clean vocals don’t disappoint expectations. - Ohio Critic

      It couldn’t have been because Hitchcock was feeling stifled by the group format, though: This sounds pretty much like a typical Air Supply record, and should spin off its unfair share of hits. Such cuts as ‘Someone Who Believes In You,’ ‘I Come Alive,’ ‘Dreams Of The Lonely’ and ‘Make It Feel Like Home Again’ were obviously chosen to showcase Hitchcock’s sentimental yawp - the aural signature of the Air Supply sound - and should strike a responsive chord in cash registers across the realm. - Winnipeg Free Press

      A fourth single, ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,’ was released in April with the new album. This remake of Jimmy Ruffin’s classic hit received radio play and managed to sneak into the Billboard AC Top 40 at #39. It also charted in Australia where it reached #17. For a short time, Russell performed the song live during Air Supply’s tour of 1988, along with ‘The River Cried’ and ‘Someone Who Believes In You.’

Sun Aint Gonna Shine Single 45.JPG

      A fifth single, ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,’ was the last song sent to radio. It was first recorded by Frankie Valli in 1965, and covered by Niel Diamond and The Walker Brothers. Russell’s interpretation received some radio play in North America and Australia, but like most of his previous singles, it failed to chart.

      Russell’s solo album was the last project from Air Supply to be released on vinyl in North America and most parts of the world. Some countries in South America and Europe continued to press vinyl into the mid-90s. Cassettes survived for several years and co-existed with Compact Discs. The self-titled 1985 album was Air Supply’s first to be manufactured on CD at time of release.

      A valuable item for collectors of Air Supply music is the cardboard packaging called longbox, which was used to sell CDs in the late 1980s. The 12”-high longbox served a transitional purpose, allowing record stores to file Compact Discs in the same bins used for vinyl records. Longbox artwork was typically taken from the original square album cover art, but the oblong shape often allowed more picture to be shown, as is the case with Russell’s cover. Most music fans discarded this packaging, making them extremely rare. Due to environmental concerns over the use of cardboard, longboxes were phased out in 1993, much to the chagrin of retailers who felt the larger box deterred shoplifters.

Cancelled Tour (Ticket Courtesy Lisa Rowland)

      In May, Russell and Paula celebrated the birth of their first child together, a girl named Sydney Rose, (after the city in Australia). Shortly thereafter, Russell began preparations for a summer solo tour of the U.S. in support of his album. At Russell’s request, promoters were asked to describe him as a solo artist, and to make no mention of Air Supply on the billing. Many of the concert venues on Russell’s schedule were the same locations that Air Supply sold out in the past. However, ticket sales for just Russell were poor, and the entire tour was cancelled. “I made the mistake of figuring I did not need to fly on the wings of Air Supply,” said Russell. “In venues that Air Supply had sold out for ten years running, I had sold ten tickets, twelve tickets, fifteen tickets. It just would not work.”

      During the second half of 1988, Graham worked on songs for an Air Supply album they hoped to release in 1989. A tour of the U.S. and South America was about to begin, and some of this new material was added to the set list. Shortly before the tour, bassist Larry Antonino replaced Don Cromwell. Cromwell left Air Supply in late 1987 to join forces with rock legend Eddie Money after Air Supply decided to slow things down. “I still remember my last year, 1987, was like a grueling nine month tour and everybody was burned-out,” said Cromwell. “We were in Atlantic City, I think, when Graham said that we are going to shut it down for awhile.” Keyboardist Robin Swenson left the band and was replaced by Michael Sherwood. Sherwood had remained good friends with Jimmy Haun after their band Lodgic broke up in 1986. Sherwood was just the first of several musicians that Haun lured into Air Supply. The touring band now consisted of Ralph Cooper, Jimmy Haun, Michael Sherwood, Greg Hilfman, David Young and Larry Antonino.

'Love Songs' - Dino Music 1988

      Dino Music, a budget label based in Australia, released an Air Supply hits compilation called ‘Love Songs.’ The greatest hits package was available on LP and cassette, and contained 16 tracks, including ‘Just Another Woman,’ ‘Give Me Love,’ and ‘Bring Out The Magic,’ and it catered to the Australian fan base. Dino Music was a sub-label of Dino Entertainment in the U.K., and was a major player in the compilation market, competing with K-Tel, Stylus, and Telstar Records.

      Throughout the tour of Latin America and the States, Graham and Russell integrated their solo projects into the show. Russell performed three songs from his solo album with Graham backstage. Graham played three songs too, including a lengthy narrative from his rock opera, which he now called The Heart of the Rose. The title track, ‘The Heart of the Rose,’ was written by Graham a year earlier, and was performed live for the first time in November 1987. The Heart of the Rose stage show was expected to premier in England in September 1989.

1988 Tour Set List:
1. Making Love Out Of Nothing At All                                      10. Glitzy Queen (Graham Solo)
2. Lost In Love                                                                      11. The Final Power (Graham Solo)
3. Two Less Lonely People In The World                                 12. The Heart Of The Rose
4. Never Fade Away                                                               13. Keeping The Love Alive
5. Sweet Dreams                                                                   14. The One That You Love
6. Here I Am                                                                         15. All Out Of Love
7. What Becomes of The Broken Hearted (Russell Solo)          16. Stand Up
8. Someone Who Believes In You (Russell Solo)                     17. Late Again
9. The River Cried (Russell Solo)

      Music critics were not sure what to make of Air Supply’s new show:
      The result was at times both weird and refreshing and may be just the dose of cardiopulmonary resuscitation these fallen pop stars need. Playing before a relatively sedate crowd of 1,650, the group opened with two of its biggest radio hits, ‘Making Love’ and ‘Lost In Love.’ At that point it looked like this would be a typically safe Air Supply show. The group’s October 1987 concert at the Paramount showed hints of subtle change in style, but Friday’s 16-song set took things several steps further.

      About half-way through the nearly two-hour show, Hitchcock and Russell each took turns in the solo spotlight. Hitchcock, he of the often-breathtaking upper-octave, was in fine form during his two offerings, ‘Someone Who Believes In You’ and ‘The River Cried.’ It was then that things got rather bizarre. Graham Russell it seems has changed dramatically since his last Springfield performance. The once closely-cropped blond hair that would have looked perfect on the cover of GQ has grown extremely long, and he wore it in a loose pony tail for most of the show. He often appeared disheveled and uncomfortable when talking to the audience about some of the group’s newer material. One could understand why, after witnessing the three songs he played during his solo stint.

      All were from a new musical slated to open in London next year. Titled, ‘The Heart of the Rose,’ the production is apparently set in 14th Century medieval England, and filled with references to sorcery and the like. ‘Glitzy Queen,’ was borderline heavy metal (honest), and ‘Final Power,’ was also pretty avant-garde for an Air Supply show. The title track proved to be the strongest of the three, and featured Russell bathed only in candlelight on stage, with some off-stage harmonies provided by Hitchcock. While certainly intriguing, the break from the norm seemed to take many in the audience by surprise. In keeping with the mood, Air Supply played another brand new song, a Hitchcock-showcase called ‘Love Conquers Time’ prior to returning to their hits. - Kevin O’Hare, Springfield Union News

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Tour Manager Bernie Boyle (Left) & Russell - China

      Band roadie, Ken Barr, joined the Air Supply road crew in 1988 and saw first hand what it was like touring the world with a successful international band. “We started out in the States and we were playing dinner theaters and clubs, and then you go to the Philippines, China and South America and your playing stadiums,” wrote Ken in his 2009 book titled We Are The Road Crew. “The shows were great. I was still a kid back then, about 24, and your doing stadiums with Air Supply, who, by the way, were about the coolest guys on the planet and really a lot of fun. I actually wasn’t an [Air Supply] fan when I was first hired, but I became one quickly. The band was huge so security was a big concern. [In South America] we were taken from the airport by car to a private disco they had rented out for our dinner and a party. It did make me uneasy that we always had armed guards with us, but you get used to it. Air Supply is as big as the Beatles in a lot countries. Countries outside the U.S. consider the crew to be as important as the band. They assume that if you are of a stature worthy of your job, then you are also important. Our nights off were another culture shock for me. The local promoters had private tables for us at just about every club there was. The promoter reps would ask me where I wanted to go, and wherever we went there was already a table reserved for Air Supply.”

      Playing to sold-out stadiums in far-off places no longer surprised Graham or Russell. Their style of music transcended borders. Air Supply was one of the first western bands to tour Taiwan, and their popularity in the country never faded. “I remember getting an invitation from Taiwan [in the early 80s],” said Graham. “The country at that time was very strategic to China. It was part of China, but it really wasn’t. We went there and it was bedlam. They had never seen a western band before and there were thousands of people all over the place, including the hotel. We went back every year and created a wonderful relationship with that country.”

      When Air Supply returned to Taiwan in 1988 they performed at some of the largest venues available. Ken Barr wrote, “The first gig in Taiwan was to take place in an outdoor soccer stadium where they were building us a stage. When we went to the gig to check it out I was surprised at how big the place was. It would hold about thirty thousand people. I thought they have got to be kidding; we’ll never fill this place. The doors opened and much to my surprise the place was completely filled in a short time. When the lights went down and the band took the stage, the roar of the crowd was deafening. The place was absolute mayhem. The screaming died down and was replaced by thirty thousand voices all singing along. They knew every word, and most of these people did not otherwise speak English.”

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Arista Promotional Press Release

      While on tour in late 1988, Air Supply began work on a live concert video. They filmed at the historic Ventura Theatre in California. The band had not released a live video since the 1982 concert in Hawaii, and felt a new video would help promote their next record. After their hiatus from recording, Air Supply regained much of the passion they had lost in 1986, and were eager to get back to their early 80s status. But they were now without a label for the first time in ten years.

      As the year drew to a close, it was clear that Russell’s solo career did not have the same hit-making strength as similar artists like Peter Cetera or Sting (who recorded ten solo albums over the next 25 years). It is impossible to know if Russell would have pursued a lengthy solo career had his album been a hit. “We had the best songwriters and the best musicians, but people didn’t like it for some reason,” said Russell. “It still blows my mind. It wasn’t accepted as well as Air Supply’s music has been because it was during a period when we were very high profile. Also, Arista dropped the ball on promotion.” The album’s lack of sales may be attributed to Russell’s relative anonymity. Most pop fans knew Air Supply, but they didn’t know Russell Hitchcock. Russell gives an example of a conversation he frequently had with strangers:

      “What do you do?....Oh, I’m a singer....Really, what do you sing?....I sing with a group called Air Supply....Really, what are some of their songs?....’Even The Nights Are Better,’ ‘Lost In Love’....Oh, I know those songs - You’re that guy!”

Air Supply Promo Pic Dated M 3, 1988.jpg

      It was once suggested that Russell might increase his name recognition by changing the band’s name to Russell Hitchcock and Air Supply, to which Russell replied, “Oh, no, no, no! We started as a duo. It wouldn’t have been right to take all the credit and leave [Graham] out. He is as much a part of this group as I am.”

      Despite being called the most successful band of the 80s by Billboard, Air Supply was decidedly undistinctive. They were never rowdy or particularly amusing, and lead scandal-free lives. Russell was convinced that this normalcy worked against them. “We don’t tear up hotel rooms,” he said. “We don’t use drugs. We don’t get into fights. We are not getting thrown out of  bars at four in the morning. We just go back to our hotel after the show. We tend to live very quiet lives once the show is over.”

      Air Supply did not take this anonymity or facelessness lying down. They did everything possible to remedy the problem with endless press interviews, TV appearances and long tours around the world. Regardless, Russell was still a relative unknown outside of Air Supply. “But what can I do?” he asked. “How can we make our names and faces stick with the public? I’d give a fortune for a proper solution to that one.”
 楼主| 发表于 2013-3-2 23:54 | 显示全部楼层
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  Graham和Russell在1988年1月去了澳大利亚参加国家最大的盛宴之一,为了纪念移民二百周年几年。演出在花费6千2百万新建成的悉尼足球场举行,Air Supply被邀请参加演出。老歌手Joe Cocker原本要参加演出,但是在最后一刻取消。Air Supply很高兴的参加了这次全明星阵容的盛会,包括John Denver,Dragon,Eurogliders,和Sharon O’Neil。这次演唱会评论皆不同,因为17000名观众抱怨音响效果在这个过山车形状的场地里显得非常弱。大会经理强调这个体育馆原本是为足球比赛设计,而非为演唱会设计。

      许多其他的二百周年纪念也在这个国家举行,包括了在布里斯班举行的88年世界博览会。1月25日,皇家2百周年演唱会在悉尼娱乐中心举行,这次演出的嘉宾规格相当高,包括了黛安娜王妃和查尔斯王子。这次大会有许多音乐节嘉宾参加并且在电视上全球直播。代表澳大利亚的有Olivia Newton-John,Icehouse,Debbie Byrne和Air Supply。在演唱了一些大热金曲之后,Graham和Russell和黛安娜王妃和查尔斯王子一起交谈。“她说她是我们乐队的大歌迷,诸如此类相当恭维的话,我们十分受宠若惊。” Graham说。多年后,Russell和Graham谈及见到黛安娜是他们生涯中最亮点之一。

      1月上旬,第三支单曲,‘Someone Who Believes In You’ 发行。Arista希望这首歌能够因为最近的电影《天使在人间》而收获更多的关注。不幸的是,这个电影是个灾难,而这首单曲也不够好,没能上榜。这张 7”寸单曲包含了一个彩色歌本和B面歌曲 ‘I Come Alive’ 。

  CBS Records和Disctronics Ltd. 在1988年发行了一张澳大利亚合辑名叫 ‘Four Play’ 。‘Four Play’ 是一套许多歌手的精选辑,包括了四首他们最著名的流行歌曲。这是Air Supply的第13套专辑。这张专辑在黑胶和CD上发行,包含了四首歌:‘Love And Other Bruises’ ‘Empty Pages’ ‘Do What You Do’ 和 ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started’。

      Air Supply和Arista之间的关系是相当完美的,但在1988年裂缝已经出现了。Clive Davis知道Air Supply在电台的声誉已经过了顶峰期,他们的新歌也不会再被播放了。假日专辑为了能让乐队在一段时间内维持更多的销售记录。

      “这是显然的事情,至少销量和电台播放量还在, Air Supply的声望在被削弱。” Clive Davis在他2013年的书《The Soundtrack Of My Life》中写道,“音乐品味变得很快,80年代已经行将结束,甚至成人流行电台的地位也被震撼了。没有强大的电台播放来驱动唱片销量,成人流行音乐艺人也支撑不住。也就是说,这是忠诚的问题。我确信Air Supply的歌曲是经典的,它可能是一个时代的象征。他们并不是简单的重复金曲:他们有独特的声音,他们被歌迷们拥护,关心。Russell Hitchcock的声音贯穿整张专辑,那些高质量的歌曲进行串联。”

      “我们在艺术的品味上与Clive有些不同。” Russell说,“我们想要做别的一些事情,但他想要我们保持现状。我想最重要的事情就是克制。 我们有义务按照约定来录制三首他选的歌曲,无论我们喜欢还是不喜欢。我们显然比一开始时候老了许多,也更富有经验了。我们只是想要按照我们的方法来做事。我们想要找一家能理解我们的唱片公司。加上我们也想花一些时间来享受我们的生活。我录制个人专辑的一个重要的原因就是能够为我们在录音室之外创造更多时间。Graham继续完善他的歌剧。这次我有机会进录音室录制我自己的东西了。这段不在录音室之外的日子对于我们两个都是宝贵的,对于没有录制Air Supply专辑的压力过去我们一直都是奢望的。我们得到了做自己事情的宝贵良机,虽然如此我们依旧在一起巡演。我非常满意我在Air Supply里担任主唱的角色。在此期间,我们都结婚了并且在工作和家庭中间寻找到了平衡。我们都想要像一个正常人那样生活。”

      对于CD的需求量在1988年持续增长,许多唱片公司都在CD上重制了一些老专辑。CBS Records和Disctronics一起发行了一张澳大利亚CD名叫 ‘Love and Other Bruises’。这张CD是 ‘The Best For Less’ 系列之一,重制了1981年在黑胶和卡带上发行的澳大利亚专辑 ‘Love and Other Bruises’ 。专辑包含了Air Supply头两张在CBS Australia公司发行的专辑。

      澳大利亚唱片公司Rainbow Music Group的和CBS也在CD上重制了这张1981年的专辑,并保持了原始的插画和封面。Rainbow Records重制CD的计划是小成本的,价格远低于那时的大多数CD。由于标题相同,澳大利亚版本的 ‘Love and Other Bruises’ 经常和乐队1977年由哥伦比亚唱片公司在北美发行的专辑混淆。而两个版本的澳大利亚版CD都受到收藏者的追捧,因为当时的发行量很小。加上CD中出现的1976年和1977年在CBS唱片公司发行的歌曲都几乎很少在CD上出现。

      Arista在1988年5月21日发行了长久等待的Russell Hitchcock个人专辑。同名专辑包含了10首歌(并非原计划的11首),其中3首歌是翻唱60年代中期的老歌。专辑中的歌曲由一些知名美国音乐人执笔,包括了Billy Steinberg,Tom Kelly,Carole King和Gerry Goffin。Clive Davis和他的Arista的同事帮助Russell尽可能找最棒的歌曲来录制。

      “尽管现在的趋势是歌手自己写歌。” Davis说,“我相信还是大量的流行歌手不自己写歌,他们成功的重要元素就是找到一首合适的歌来录制。那显然是非常重要的,但这绝不是整个故事。加入歌手本身不写歌,找一流的素材是最重要的。人们总是说好歌手即使唱通讯录人们也会买他的专辑,这完全就是错的。我的A&R同事,Rick Chertoff对于Arista做出了杰出的贡献。"

      “我对这张专辑等待了很久。” Russell说,“在Air Supply的日子实在是太繁忙了,几乎没有任何机会去做这件事,因为需要很长的时间把好歌凑成一张专辑。当所有拼图都已凑齐的时候,恰逢我可以从Air Supply中脱身出来有时间来做这张专辑, 当然也正好有合适的人来一起合作。我希望一切都能更快的完成,但我觉得如果我没有耐心等的话,我就没法用这张专辑来引以为豪了。”

      Air Supply的歌迷很担心这张新的个人专辑,但是乐评家却对此没什么太大的热情:
  Air Supply的主唱翻唱的那些经典老歌实在是不值得。并不是说‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ 和 ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’ 不是好歌,但比起现在他们应该更好。Hitchcock原本应该把那些不熟悉的旋律用他甜美清爽的声音组合的更好。- Ohio Critic

    专辑听上去更像是Air Supply风格的专辑:这些声音实在像一张Air Supply的专辑,像 ‘Someone Who Believes In You,’ ‘I Come Alive,’ ‘Dreams Of The Lonely’ 和 ‘Make It Feel Like Home Again’ 明显是在秀Hitchcock的声音 - 已经被烙下Air Supply的签名 - 而原本应该在不同的领域里制造更多的共鸣。 - Winnipeg Free Press

     第四支单曲 ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’ 在4月发行。这是翻唱Jimmy Ruffin的经典歌曲并且进入了Billboard成人流行Top40榜单拿到第39位。歌曲也在澳大利亚上榜,拿到了第17位的成绩。在短时间里,Russell在1988年的Air Supply巡演里独唱了 ‘The River Cried’ 和 ‘Someone Who Believes In You’。

  第五支单曲 ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ 是最后一首被送往电台的歌曲。歌曲最早在1965年由Frankie Valli录制,后来被Niel Diamond 和 The Walker Brothers翻唱。Russell说歌曲在北美和澳大利亚有一定的点播率,但是最终还是像他之前的一些单曲一样,没能进入排行榜。

      Russell的个人专辑是Air Supply最后一个在北美和别的部分国家发行在黑胶唱片上的项目。而在南美和欧洲的一些国家继续发行黑胶唱片直到90年代中。卡带伴随着CD幸存了好多年。1985年的同名专辑是Air Supply第一张首发在CD上的专辑。

      一件很有价值的Air Supply收藏品是一份由纸板包装名叫Longbox(长盒)的东西,经常用在80年代末发行CD。发行这个12”寸高的 - 长盒子,是有原因的,这能够允许唱片零售商用装黑胶唱片的箱子来打包激光唱片。Longbox的封面图案一般都是曲子原始的专辑, 但是长方形可以展示更多的图案,就如可以展示Russell的全身。大多数乐迷买回来后都把这种包装扔掉了,所以才显得尤为的珍贵。由于对环保的忧虑,Longboxes在1993年被淘汰了,零售商显得很懊恼,因为这种大盒子包装能够不容易让商店里的扒手得手。

      5月份,Russell和Paula一起庆祝他们第一个孩子的出世,一个女孩起名叫Sydney Rose,(按照澳大利亚城市悉尼的名字所起)。在这以后,为了宣传他的个人专辑,Russell开始准备他的夏季个人全美巡演。按照Russell的要求,赞助商被要求把他描述为一名单独的艺人,在广告上不提任何关于Air Supply的东西。许多演出场馆都和过去Air Supply大卖的演出场地相同。然而,单单Russell的演出的售票情况不容乐观,整个巡演就这样取消了。“在单飞的问题上我估计错误了。” Russell说 “另一方面,Air Supply的演出在10年里都是热卖的。而我的演出却只能卖掉几十张,完全没有吸引力。”

      在1988年的下半年,Graham正在为Air Supply的新专辑紧锣密鼓的努力着,希望在1989年发行。此时,一场全美和南美巡演正要开始,一些新的歌曲被加进了曲目单。就在巡演开始前不久,贝司手Larry Antonino取代了Don Cromwell。Cromwell在1987年晚些时候就在Air Supply准备把一切节奏都减慢下来后,离开了Air Supply加入了摇滚传奇Eddie Money的乐队。“我依然记得我在Air Supply的最后的1987年,一次残酷的9个月的巡演,每个人的精力都耗尽了。” Cromwell说,“我们在亚特兰大我想应该是,Graham说我们准备让乐队休歇一阵子。” 键盘手Robin Swenson离开了乐队,被Michael Sherwood取代。Sherwood和Jimmy Haun在他们的乐队Lodgic于1986年解散后依然是好朋友。Sherwood是最早的一些和Haun一起进入Air Supply的人。现在的巡演阵容变成了Ralph Cooper,Jimmy Haun,Michael Sherwood,Greg Hilfman,David Young 和 Larry Antonino。

      Dino Music, 一个澳大利亚的小成本公司,发行了一张Air Supply精选辑名叫 ‘Love Songs’。这套精选辑发行在黑胶和卡带上,包含16首歌曲,包括了 ‘Just Another Woman’ ‘Give Me Love’ 和 ‘Bring Out The Magic’ ,这些都是特别为澳大利亚乐迷准备的。Dino Music 是英国Dino Entertainment下的子公司,主要针对合辑市场,竞争对手有K-Tel,Stylus和Telstar Records。

      在拉丁美洲的巡演,Graham 和 Russell 把自己的个人歌曲放在了演唱会中。Russell一个人演唱了个人专辑中的三首歌曲。Graham也唱了三首歌曲,包括了冗长的他的摇滚歌剧中的旁白,如今这些被放进了一张专辑叫The Heart of the Rose。Graham在前一年的同一时间创作了标题曲‘The Heart of the Rose’ ,第一次在玻利维亚现场演出。The Heart of the Rose的舞台剧预计于1989年9月在英格兰上演。

1988 Tour Set List:
1. Making Love Out Of Nothing At All                                     10. Glitzy Queen (Graham Solo)
2. Lost In Love                                                                      11. The Final Power (Graham Solo)
3. Two Less Lonely People In The World                                12. The Heart Of The Rose
4. Never Fade Away                                                              13. Keeping The Love Alive
5. Sweet Dreams                                                                   14. The One That You Love
6. Here I Am                                                                          15. All Out Of Love
7. What Becomes of The Broken Hearted (Russell Solo)         16. Stand Up
8. Someone Who Believes In You (Russell Solo)                     17. Late Again
9. The River Cried (Russell Solo)

      乐评人们不太确定该如何Air Supply的新演出究竟是什么:
     其结果往往奇怪又令人耳目一新。在庸庸碌碌的流行歌星中,他们无疑是一剂强心剂。在一大群人前,约超过1650名相对冷静的观众面前演出。这个乐队创造了两首最热门电台金曲。“Making Love”和”Lost In Love”。那时,该乐队看上去就是典型的情歌组合。可是在1987年10月派拉蒙举行的演出会上,竟然出现了微妙的风格转变,而周五的16首专辑在风格变化上又更进一步。

      在近2小时的表演中,Hitchcock和Russell各自轮流进行了独奏SOLO表演。Hitchcock,那令人叹为观止的高音在“Someone Who Believes In You”和”The River Cried”这两首歌中都有非常棒的演绎。不过,接下去我们发现了一些变化。Graham Russell在上一次Springfield的演出后,风格上发生了天翻地覆的变化。曾经干净清爽的上过GQ封面的金色短发被留长了。而后,在后来的多场演出中,他都扎着松散的马尾。在与观众讨论组合的新元素时,他的发型总显得蓬乱和不适。不过,在亲眼看了他现场演奏的三首歌之后,观众终于理解为什么了。

      所有这些新曲都来自于明年伦敦的新音乐剧中。标题为“The heart of the Rose”的歌,歌词仿佛像中世纪英格兰的诗句,充满了启示和魔力。”Glitzy Queen“显然与重金属沾点边,而“Final Power”对于Air Supply的组合来说也很前卫。三首中,显然这首主打曲最棒。当Russell独自沉浸在舞台的聚光灯下,Hitchcock仅做了和声部分,这样的演绎显然非常迷人。这样的突破让观众中的许多人感到意外的惊喜。为了保有这样的情绪,Air Supply又继续演唱了另一首新歌,Hitchcock的优点再次展示“Love Conquers Time”。然后他们再回归到演绎之前的热门曲目之中。—— Kevin O’Hare, Springfield联合新闻发表。

      乐队巡演管理员Ken Barr,在1988年加入了Air Supply,第一次见面的时候好像是在南美巡演。“我们在晚餐剧院和俱乐部中演出,然后曲了菲律宾,中国和南美,然后在体育场里演出。” Ken在2009年他的书《We Are The Road Crew》中写道,“演出都很棒。那时我还是个孩子,大约24岁,然后在体育场里和Air Supply一起,顺便说,我们可能是全世界最酷的人,真的太有趣了。事实上当我被雇佣的时候我还不是Air Supply的歌迷,但很快我就被他们迷倒了。乐队在南美相当走红,所以安保工作是个大问题。我们从机场被接到一个私人舞厅,用来准备晚饭和开派对。我很难让保镖无时不刻的保护我们,但你必须得渐渐习惯。Air Supply在很多国家像Beatles一样走红。在美国之外的很多国家同样重要。即使你是个装饰品,你也必须对自己的工作负责。晚上的活动对我来说是另一种文化上冲击。当地的组织方会为我们打点好一切。他们会问我想去哪里,无论我说曲哪里总会已经为Air Supply预定好了位子。”

      在体育场的演出全部售完票已经不会惊吓到Graham 或者 Russell了。他们的音乐没有国界。Air Supply是第一个访问台湾的西方乐队,而他们在台湾的影响力永远不会消退。“我记得在80年代早期接受台湾的邀请的时候。” Graham说。“这个国家那时是中国非常重要的战略重心。它是中国的一部分,但其实不是。我们去了那里,那里就像是疯人院。他们之前从来没有见过任何一支西方乐队,那里有成千上万人,包括在酒店里。我们每年都会回到那里,和那个国家保持了良好的关系。”

      当Air Supply于1988年回到台湾时,在当时最大的场馆中演出。Ken Barr写道,“在台湾的第一场演出在一个户外足球场,那里为我们搭建了一个舞台。当我们到现场时,我被这么大的地方吓到了。这里大约能容纳3万人。我心想这一定是开玩笑,我们怎么能填满这个地方呢。当大门打开的时候,瞬间这地方都被人填满了。灯光照下,乐队上了舞台,人群的轰鸣声震耳欲聋。这地方实在是太混乱了。当尖叫声听下来的时候,紧接着是3万人一起大合唱的声音。他们会唱每一首歌,而大多数人都不说英语。”

      在1988晚些时候的巡演中,Air Supply开始录制一个现场演唱会的录像。他们在历史性的加利福尼亚Ventura剧院摄制。乐队自从1982年夏威夷演唱会之后就再也没有发行过一张现场音乐会的录影带,相信新的录影带能够帮助他们宣传下一张专辑。在录制间隙,Air Supply重新找回了他们在1986年早已丢失的激情,他们渴望回到80年代初的状态。不幸的是,这个计划不得不拖延了,因为Arista和Air Supply举行不续约他们的唱片合同。Air Supply10年间第一次没有签约任何一个唱片品牌。

      当这年行将结束的时候,很显然Russell的个人演唱生涯没能像Peter Cetera或者Sting (在25年间录制了10张个人专辑)一样强劲。已经不得而知如果Russell的独唱生涯再长一些是否会有一张金曲唱片出现。“我们有最好的歌曲作者也有最好的乐手,但是不知道为什么人们就是不喜欢。” Russell说, “真是搞不明白。同样,Arista也缺乏对唱片的宣传。” Russell唱片销量的低迷也许可以归结为相对匿名的风格。大多数流行乐迷都知道Air Supply,但是他们却不认识Russell Hitchcock。Russell是这样形容他和一些陌生人的对话的:

      “你是干什么的?....噢, 我是一名歌手....真的吗,你唱过什么?....我在Air Supply乐队里唱歌....真的吗,他们有些什么歌?....’Even The Nights Are Better’ ‘Lost In Love’....噢,我直到那些歌 - 原来你就是那个主唱!”

      曾经有人建议Russell他把乐队名字改为Russell Hitchcock和Air Supply,Russell回应到,“噢, 不, 不, 不!我们是从2个组合开始的。把[Graham] 的名字去掉是巨大的错误。他在这个乐队中和我一样重要。”

  尽管被Billboard称为80年代最成功乐队,Air Supply却从不特立独行。他们从来不粗鲁或者刻意搞笑,乐队几乎没有丑闻Russell深信这是正常的。“我们不会把我们的酒店房间弄乱,” 他说,“我们从不嗑药,打架。我们也不会在凌晨四点还待在酒吧里。在演出结束后我们就回到自己的酒店。在演出结束后我们只想平静的生活。”

  Air Supply没有接受这样的默默无闻。他们试着一切来解决这个问题接受采访,电视露面和世界巡演。无论如何,在Air Supply之外Russell依然是无人知晓。 “但是我还能做什么呢?” Russell说, “怎么样才能让公众知道我们的名字和认识我们? 我已经想了好多办法了。”

 楼主| 发表于 2015-2-6 14:31 | 显示全部楼层
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